T. J. Hooker Taylor

Daddy B. Nice's #114 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of T. J. Hooker Taylor by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"You Can Call Me TJ"

T. J. Hooker Taylor

Composed by J. Butler, James Butler & T.J. Hooker-Taylor


Ahhh. . . Those Taylor boys. We're talking Floyd and Tyrone "TJ" Hooker, and one or two others who have popped up from time to time--all sons of the great Southern Soul star, Johnnie Taylor. And just in case you forgot--or never knew--the charisma and legend-balls-busting these sons were up against as they grew into young men, review this performance by Johnnie in his prime at Wattstax, back in the day:

Watch Johnnie Taylor singing "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone."

So let's not kid ourselves that these kids (now in their thirties and early forties) are on a level with their father, any more than the sons of Bob Dylan or Henry Fonda or Kirk Douglas (well, maybe Michael comes close) are on a level with theirs.

On the street the knock against the Taylor boys has long been they were spoiled, the beneficiaries of a sense of entitlement. The Taylor step-brothers had to fight not only through their own demons, soul-searching for their true identities, but through this prejudice--some true, some not--on the part of their peers and to some extent their fans.

Their fans--especially the boomers--still come to their concerts with an ambiguous agenda, hoping to catch echoes of past Johnnie Taylor glory and acccompanying memories as much as to hear their present-day catalogs.

Floyd, the more mature step-brother with the longest track record, has ridden the emotional roller coaster the longest and with the most painful prominence due to the fact that he came first and has had the greater success.

TJ, a relative newcomer and the youngest of the Taylor boys, is a little more laid-back and at ease with the inherent conflict of being an "entitled" son of a superstar. He tackles the issue head-on from his perspective in "You Can Call Me TJ."

Listen to T. J. Hooker Taylor singing "You Can Call Me TJ" on YouTube while you read on. . .

"You can call me Tyrone,
Good loving all night long,
Or you can call me JT,
I can satisfy your needs."

Or. . .

"People who got money
Still got problems.
(That's what my daddy said.)"

. . . From "Got To Get My Money Right."

Or. . .

"A lady at the casino,
She's acting funny,
Because my slot machine
Keeps blowing out more money.
Just because I win a few,
That don't give you the right
To hate the way you do."

. . . from "Player Haters."

These are the kinds of problems of privilege most struggling artists only wish they had to worry about. The indisputable fact, however, is that both brothers carry the Johnnie Taylor genes and can sound like their famous father at will and at their discretion.

Floyd Taylor has recorded some of the finest Southern Soul of the contemporary era, but TJ Hooker Taylor gives up nothing to Floyd in the vocal department. He doesn't have the Shirley Brown-like precision and range of Floyd's style, but he has a Marvin Sease/Denise LaSalle-like sureness and common man's appeal that in some respects is even more winning.

"You Can Call Me TJ" is--on the surface--a lightweight song, a warm-up-the-audience song, but it's transported to a higher level by the mesmerizing roundelay of "You-can-call-me-this" and "You-can-call-me-that".

(Scroll down to Lyrics under SONG'S TRANSCENDENT MOMENT.)

"You Can Call Me TJ's" simple, school-yard-like stanzas have an unflagging optimism at their core, a buoyancy of spirit not unlike underground comic artist R. Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'" man.

Hooker Taylor writes all of his own compositions, or at least he did on his first two LP's, The 2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor and The Total Package. And unlike Floyd, who specializes in singing other composers' tunes, TJ is an accomplished writer.

On his third CD, Your Babies Need A Daddy, Hooker Taylor unwisely deferred to producer/writer Carl Marshall, giving him the majority of songwriting credits. Those tracks are wasted efforts, channeling Hooker Taylor's precocious Southern Soul gifts through journeyman funk exercises that flatten out all of the charm usually conveyed in Taylor's own material.

The same CD, however, boasts Taylor's finest compositions yet, rivaling if not surpassing his classic "Player Haters" from The Total Package.

"Your Babies Need A Daddy," "Got To Get My Money Right," "MOMA" and "You Can Call Me TJ" carry the CD, and all bear the mark of Hooker Taylor's writing genius.

--Daddy B. Nice


About T. J. Hooker Taylor

Tyrone "TJ" Hooker Taylor grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Mary Ann Hooker and the legendary Southern Soul star Johnnie Taylor. He sang in church aggregations and local bands until, in his early twenties, he had an epiphany.

"I had never tried to sound like my dad," Hooker-Taylor told Soul-Blues Music. "I didn't even like the Blues. But on my 25th birthday I was given a chance to open for my dad and get paid. That's when the Blues hit me."

In 2005 he published his debut CD, The 2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor (Hooked-Up Records), including the songs, "Mama Didn't Raise No Fool," "Taylor Made," "Ride This Pony" and "I'm Your Puppet."

Hooker-Taylor's 2nd CD, The Total Package (Hooked-Up, 2007), launched the popular chitlin' circuit ballad, "Player Haters," and along with the recognition garnered by the single the disc gave real impetus to Hooker-Taylor's career, establishing him as the "other" son of Johnnie Taylor in the minds of Southern Soul fans.

Hooker Taylor signed a contract with the CDS label in 2009 which resulted in Your Babies Need A Daddy.

Hooker-Taylor, a talented composer who had written all of the songs on his previous CD's, restricted himself to only four contributions to the CD (two co-written).

And yet, those four tunes went on to become singles on Southern Soul radio, led by the popular tracks "Got To Get My Money Right," "Your Babies Need A Daddy" and "You Can Call Me TJ."

Hooker-Taylor remains active on the chitlin' circuit concert scene, and often hosts gigs catering to his late father's legacy, such as this venue posted on Daddy B. Nice's Concert Calendar only a few days hence from this writing (7/24/11):

7 pm, Friday, July 29, 2011. Mustang Lounge, 104 WI Daniel Rd., San San Antonio, Texas. Johnnie Taylor Tribute Show. T. J. Hooker Taylor.


Song's Transcendent Moment

"You can call me Tyrone,
Good loving all night long,
Or you can call me J.T.,
I can satisfy your needs,
Or you can call me T-Hook,
I know all the tricks in the book,
Or you can call me T-Bone,
Because I really got it going on,
Or you can call me TJ,
Whatever you want to say,
Or you can call me Daddy
I'm the one who'll make you happy."


Tidbits

1.

July 24, 2011:

Listen to T. J. Hooker Taylor singing "You Can Call Me TJ" on YouTube.

Listen to T. J. Hooker Taylor singing "Get Your Money Right" on YouTube.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Grayson Hugh's "Can We Talk It Over (In Bed)," you'll love T. J. Hooker Taylor's "You Can Call Me TJ."


EDITOR'S NOTE

Over the last year I've been dropping hints to the younger musicians.

"Be watching because there's going to be something coming on the site that'll be a real blessing for the younger people."

And I've also been telling a lot of deserving new artists to bide their time, that their day to be featured in a Daddy B. Nice Artist Guide was coming, and long overdue.

Now, at last, the day has come.

The great Southern Soul stars are mostly gone. There's a new generation clamoring to be heard.

Rather than waiting years to go online as I did with the original Top 100, this chart will be a work-in-progress.

Each month five new and never-before-featured artists will be showcased, starting at #100 and counting down to #1.

I estimate 50-75 new Artist Guides will be created by the time I finish. The other 25-50 Guides will feature artists from the old chart who are holding their own or scaling the peaks in the 21st Century.

Absent will be the masters who have wandered off to Soul Heaven. And missing will be the older artists who for one reason or another have slowed down, become inactive or left the scene.

The older generation's contributions to Southern Soul music, however, will not be forgotten.

That is why it was so important to your Daddy B. Nice to maintain the integrity of the original Top 100 and not continue updating it indefinitely.

(Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul covered the period from 1990-2010. Daddy B. Nice's new 21st Century Southern Soul will cover the period from 2000-2020.)

When I constructed the first chart, I wanted to preserve a piece of musical history. I heard a cultural phenomenon I was afraid might be lost forever unless I wrote about it.

There will be no more changes to the original chart. Those performers' place in Southern Soul music will stand.

But I see a new scene today, a scene just as starved for publicity and definition, a scene missing only a mirror to reflect back its reality.

The prospect of a grueling schedule of five new artist pages a month will be daunting, and I hope readers will bear with me as I gradually fill out what may seem at first inadequate Artist Guides.

Information from readers will always be welcome. That's how I learn. That's how I add to the data.

I'm excited to get started. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I've already done the bulk of the drawings.

In a funny way, the most rewarding thing has been getting back to doing the drawings, and imagining what recording artists are going to feel like when they see their mugs in a black and white cartoon. Hopefully----high! An artist hasn't really "made it" until he or she's been caricatured by Daddy B. Nice.

In the beginning months, the suspense will be in what new stars make the chart. In the final months, the suspense will be in who amongst the big dogs and the new stars is in the top twenty, the top ten, and finally. . . the top spot.

I'm not tellin'.

Not yet.

--Daddy B. Nice

Go to Top 100 Countdown: 21st Century Southern Soul


Honorary "B" Side

"Player Haters"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Can Call Me TJ by T. J. Hooker Taylor
You Can Call Me TJ


CD: Your Babies Need A Daddy
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Your Babies Need A Daddy


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Player Haters by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Player Haters


CD: The Total Package
Label: Hooked Up

Sample or Buy
The Total Package


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Got To Get My Money Right by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Got To Get My Money Right


CD: Your Babies Need A Daddy
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Your Babies Need A Daddy


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Just Because by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Just Because


CD: Shots Of Southern Soul, Vol. 2
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Shots of Southern Soul, Vol. 2


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ride This Pony by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Ride This Pony


CD: 2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor
Label: Hooked-Up

Sample or Buy
2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Your Babies Need A Daddy by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Your Babies Need A Daddy


CD: Your Babies Need A Daddy
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Your Babies Need A Daddy


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Blues Festival by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Blues Festival
Label: CDS



3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm Your Puppet by T. J. Hooker Taylor
I'm Your Puppet


CD: 2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor
Label: Hooked-Up

Sample or Buy
2nd Generation Of Johnnie Taylor


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy MOMA by T. J. Hooker Taylor
MOMA


CD: Your Babies Need A Daddy
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Your Babies Need A Daddy


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sugar by T. J. Hooker Taylor
Sugar


CD: Your Babies Need A Daddy
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Your Babies Need A Daddy


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